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AGMA/GMCA Scrutiny Panel 12 August 2011

by timpickstone on 13 August, 2011

Yesterday was the regular monthly meeting of the AGMA / GMCA* Scrutiny Panel. This is a Panel made up of three councillors from each of the ten boroughs in Greater Manchester.
* Association of Greater Manchester Authorities / Greater Manchester Combined Authority

It being August, the agenda was relatively light, but the meeting was only a few days after the Manchester/Salfort ‘riots’ and we did have the Chair of the Police Authority there, so it turned out to be a long meeting!

Public Protection Commission Work Programme
Cllr Paul Murphy, who is Chair of the Public Protection Commission came to provide the Panel with an update on the work of the Commission Cllr Murphy is also Chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority, which was the main focus of questions and discussion.

You can see the full Work Programme (see the link below), but for me the most interesting points were around neighbourhood policing. The Police Authority reconfirmed its commitment to the importance of neighbourhood policing (the police officers we see in our local area). It also talked about some of the work it is doing in some pilot areas (including one in East Bury) to jointly tackle the resources that different authorities put into some families who have very complex needs.

Given that the Riots were long a few days ago, we were given an update on the events of that week from the Police Authority perspective. There was significant praise for the work of the police in Greater Manchester during the riots. A full review of what happened will be taking place, so that we best learn the lessons from the events. We asked the Police Authority to come back to the Panel to report back to us when this review has taken place.

Concessionary Fares
We asked the represenatives of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to come back to the Panel to provide a full update on the changes to concessionary travel provided in Greater Manchester.

The Government requires local councils to provide a MANDATORY free travel scheme – this is free travel ON BUSES for elderly people and disabled people OFF PEAK (ie after 9.30am, all day at weekend).

In addition, local councils can add to this by having a DISCRETIONARY scheme. In Greater Manchester we add the Metrolink AND local trains to the free scheme for elderly people. It also extends the mandatory scheme for buses late at night by allowing free travel up to midnight (rather than 11pm). We also provide half price travel for disabled people before 9.30am on all services (and free on also services after 9.30am).
In Greater Manchester we also provide for half price travel for young people (5-16 with a “GO” card) on all services.

A number of changes took place this April, mainly the half price for elderly people before 9.30 was removed and the fare for young people was changed from 80p flat fare to half price.

The Mandatory scheme costs £46.6 million in Greater Manchester (local councils have to pay this, not the Government)
The discretionary schemes cost £5.6 million of elderly/disabled additional concessions and £14.4 million for young people – again these are paid by local councils throuh TFGM.

The papers for the meeting are here. Please get in touch if you have any questions.


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